Spaniard Joan Mir is the 2017 Moto3™ World Champion after winning today’s race at the Michelin® Australian Motorcycle Grand Prix 2017.
Mir won the shortened 15-lap race ahead of Leopard Racing Honda teammate Livio Loi and polesitter Jorge Martin (Del Conca Gresini Honda), which was more than enough to clinch the 2017 World Championship with two rounds to spare.
Mir is now on 296 points in the Moto3™ championship, an unassailable 70 points ahead of Italian Romano Fenati (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers, 226 points) – the only other rider who could deny the Spanish prodigy championship success.
Mir and Fenati were in the leading group from the start of today’s race, but when the race was red-flagged early after rain started falling – all the field was on slick tyres – Mir was at the sharp end and Fenati sixth – the cards had fallen the 20-year-old’s way.
“This is unbelievable, I have no words,” said Mir. “It been my dream over a number of years to achieve this, and it’s amazing. I’m world champion – it’s incredible to say.”
Today’s win was the 10th for Mir in the Moto3™ class, and by far his most memorable as he now heads to Sepang next week with the weight of championship expectations lifted.
As well as Mir’ success, it’s also the second Moto3 title win in the last three years for the Leopard Racing team, which took Briton Danny Kent to the top spot in 2015.
The 15-lap race (down from the scheduled 23) was brilliant, with five separate riders leading across the finish line as positions changed on a constant basis – typical Moto3™ fare.
Front row starter and holeshot man Gabriel Rodrigo (RBA COE Racing Team KTM) was one of those, and he completed the race in fourth, ahead of Enea Bastianini (EG 0,0 Honda), Fenati, Ayumu Sasaki (SIC Racing Team Honda), Adam Norrodin (SIC Racing Team Honda), Tatsuki Suzuki (SIC58 Squadra Corse Honda) and Lorenzo Dalla Porta (Aspar Mahindra).
Rodrigo also set the fastest lap of the race – 1:37.898 on lap seven.
There were bone-crunching highsides for a number of riders, including Fabio Giannantonio (Del Conca Gresini Honda) and Marco Ramirez (Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM). Other race casualties were Aron Canet (EG 0,0 Honda), Juanfran Guevara (RBA BOE Racing Team KTM), Jules Danilo (Marinelli Rivacold Snipers Honda), Nicolo Antonelli (Red Bull KTM Ajo), John McPhee (British Talent Team Honda) and Darryn Binder (Platinum Bay Real Estate KTM).
Canet remains third in the championship on 184 points.
Aussie wildcard Tom Toparis (Cube Racing KTM) finished in 22nd place out of 24 finishers.